Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Intrigue at Highbury by Carrie Bebris - Book review ( And Giveaway )

I had the honour of reading this book before it was released. In fact, it's being released just today. I won it in a giveaway at Stephanie's Written Word some time ago and received a copy directly from the author, Carrie Bebris ( read my post HERE) . I really liked reading it. It was a delight! Here's my review.

As you start reading, it seems you are back where you had to stop. They are all there, just like you left them at the end of Jane Austen’s novel: Emma, now Mrs Knightley, with her fascinating loving husband and her father, Mr Woodhouse; The Westons and The Eltons, Miss Bates and her mother, Harriet Smith, now Mrs Martin; Jane Fairfax , now Mrs Churchill,  with Frank, her husband. Pleasantly indeed for the readers, though not in the best circumstances, their lives cross with Mr and Mrs Darcy’s and with that of handsome Mr Deal - who for the first time will make Miss Bates feel toungue-tied!

Plot summary 

Mr and Mrs Darcy are looking forward to a relaxing stay with dear friends when their carriage is hailed by a damsel in distress on a dark road outside of the village of Highbury. Little do the Darcys realize that gypsies roam these woods, or that both their possessions and the woman are about to vanish into the night.

The Darcys seek out the parish magistrate, who is having a difficult evening of his own. Mr Knightley and his new wife, the former Miss Emma Woodhouse, are hosting a party to celebrate the marriage of their friends, Mr Frank Churchill and Miss Jane Fairfax. During dinner, Mr Edgar Churchill, uncle and adoptive father of the groom, suddenly falls ill and dies. The cause of death : poison.

When the Darcys and the Knightleys join forces to investigate the crimes, they discover that the robbery and Edgar Churchill’s death may be connected…

What I most appreciated, apart from this book being a real page-turner, is Bebris’s hold on Austen’s witty style. Just a couple of examples:

1. “Emma would listen to Mrs Weston’s counsel, then act as she generally did: precisely as Emma wished” (p.31)

2. “(Mrs Elton) You must be very happy in your new establishment.
Harriet began to reply, but Mrs Elton’s interest in her happiness did not extend so far as wanting to hear any assurance of it. Before Harriet had uttered two words, Mrs Elton brought the discussion back to her favourite subject – herself” (p. 121)

It is a brilliant mystery- story- including sharades, riddles and word games - in which, eventually,  Emma finds a friend who is her intellectually equal, where our heroine proves her smart mind and her “talent at matchmaking” again. In this delightful series – this is the 5th issue - the Darcys take center stage in searching for truth between teatimes amid the social whirl of Jane Austen’s England.
Our beloved characters and the new ones are so well drawn that you can't but find them convincing and involving.
 As you can imagine, The Intrigue at Highbury is a real feast for Janeites. If you haven’t read the other Mr & Mrs Darcy Mysteries by Carrie Bebris, you may well start from this latest publication and, then, go back to discover the other ones: Pride and Prescience, Suspence and Sensibility , North of Northanger, The Matters at Mansfield.

As for me, I can’t wait for Bebris’s next Mr & Mrs Darcy Mystery inspired to my favourite among favourites: Persuasion!


GIVEAWAY FOR ITALIAN READERS

After reading my review of The Intrigue at Highbury,


and you will have a chance to win a copy of Carrie Bebris's L'ENIGMA DI MANSFIELD PARK, the Italian translation of The Matters at Mansfield. Winner will be announced on 10th March .

I know there are several Italians among you, so let's see if you are interested in these delightful mystery books based on Jane Austen's world. If you are Janeites, you'll love them.

Thanks to the Italian publisher TEA for granting me this copy of Carrie Bebris's latest Italian translation, released in January 2010. Other books by Carrie Bebris published by TEA are ORGOGLIO E PREVEGGENZA , SOSPETTO E SENTIMENTO , LE OMBRE DI PEMBERLEY.

And , of course, thanks to CARRIE BEBRIS for her kindness
and for the delight she gives us through her work!

This is my second task for the Jane Austen Challenge hosted at
The Life ( and Lies ) of an inanimate Flying Object

6 comments:

Haleyknitz said...

Great review! Thanks for the link :)

Karen said...

Thank you for this enthusiastic review, MG.
Although I haven't liked that much the first Mrs & Mr Darcy's Mystery, I think I can give this author a second chance, possibly reading her novels in English, instead of the sadly plain Italian translations.
KB

lunarossa said...

Me again, MG. Is the Italian translation really "plain"? Is there anything we can fo to help? Maybe you can ask Carrie whether she prefer us two as translators for her next book. Only joking. I know it's not that easy! Ciao. A.

phylly3 said...

These books sound really intriguing. I will have to look for them! Great review on an interesting author!

alesya said...

it's amazing!!!!thank you for your review!!I haven't had the opportunity to read some Jane Austen's sequel they are not so popular in Italy but I hope i can find something in english very soon!!!It's very interesting to see the evolution of the characters after the end of the original book...It's the realization of pour imagination!!!!thank you

storey said...

Also check out Italian translation for the iPhone